We are all guilty of some wishful-thinking sometimes. Thankfully, the Tibetan monks are on to it.
A lot of what we call ‘spiritual wisdom’ is really just common sense. Take that saying in Tibetan Buddhism:
Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.
I don’t think this is meant to a comment on the spiritual nature of reality. It’s just pointing to a bias that we all have in our messy old heads.
The instruction to Buddhist monks is don’t expect enlightenment to change anything. Sure, it might change the quality of your experience, but at a material level, nothing changes.
There is nothing that can save us from the housework of being human. Even the glorious goal of enlightenment doesn’t save you from having to chop the wood and fetch water. It doesn’t save you having to shower and go to the toilet. It doesn’t save you from sickness, from old age, from the messiness of human relationships.
And a monk that comes to the path hoping enlightenment will do all that for them, is going to be very disappointed.
But I think the same is true of any path. Whether its spiritual development or property investing.
Being human is hard. It’s kind of tedious. Really, the most we can hope for is the odd moment of dazzling beauty in the drab tapestry of the day-to-day.
We all want to escape from it. All of us.
(Seriously, I’ve had a lot of students come to me that wanted to be wealthy, but when it came down to it, they just didn’t want to do housework!)
But money can’t save you from the reality of being human. You still have to look after yourself and the things that are yours. You can find freedom from the tyranny of poverty and wage-slavery, but not freedom from being human.
Before replacing your income, chop vegetables, do the dishes. After replacing your income, pay the invoices for your personal chef, unpack the dishwasher.
This is something I get the people working with me to look at a lot. Our motivations are key. The clearer we are on what we want and why we are doing it, the easier the journey becomes.
And very few of them are ready to admit that when it comes down to it, they’re hoping that more money can save them from their purposelessness, their messy relationships, their insecurities.
But many people are hoping that money can do this for them. They’re pinning their hopes on it like money was some magical leprechaun in a bottle.
But you just have to do the work. There’s no way around it.
Before Dymphna, work on yourself, expand into your potential. After Dymphna, work on yourself, expand into your potential.